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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Love It or List It!

Should I stay or should I go now?  Well, it really depends on your personal situation.
Sooner or later, we homeowners must decide if it makes more sense to remodel or move.  This decision is not easily made as it can have enormous financial and emotional impact.
As an experienced realtor, I can personally guide you through what renovations both small and large will give you the most bang for your buck.  It’s up to you to decide what you are willing to do or pay someone else to in order to increase your bottom line.  Look at your house objectively and think about your future plans.  How long do you plan to keep the house? 24 months? 5 years? 10 years?  Time makes a difference on how much you will want to spend and what cosmetic and/or structural changes you make. 
There is no “Perfect” home.  Everyone wants to change some small or large features of their homes.  That’s what keeps Lowes and Home Depot in business.  We are constantly changing, and our tastes have evolved over the years.  If you’re happy with your neighbors and location, it may make sense for you to make adjustments to your current home.  You never know what you’re going to get on the other side of the fence when you move.  Homeowners who love their homes, neighbors and communities most often remodel because they already have most everything they want-except for some feature like a patio, master suite or updated kitchen or bath.  Despite the current home improvement boom, remodeling isn’t for everyone, especially not the faint of heart.  First of all, not every renovation is worth the time, money or effort. 
Remodeling a ten year old kitchen because you just don’t like it anymore doesn’t pay.  But if you are replacing a 1970’s kitchen, that’s a different story.  The secret to successful pre-sale remodeling is to keep up with the Jones’, but never surpass them.  The main things to keep in mind when remodeling are to keep it neutral, clean and classic.  Nine times out of ten you will recoup your money.  One main advantage of remodeling is that you only need to change one or two things to suit your needs. 
My Top 5 “Bang for Your Buck” Renovations:
  1.  Bathroom renovations:  A typical half bath will range about $1500. Including materials and labor.  Think vanity, toilet, painting and light fixtures.
  2. Replacing kitchen countertops with granite slab:  My 51 linear foot counters were replaced by E.W. Granite in Farmington for only $4,000. Great deal, huge improvement!
  3. Take down the wallpaper please!  I see a lot of homes and I’ve never had buyers claim they liked the wallpaper in a seller’s home.  It’s a very personal choice and most buyers don’t want to spend their next few weekends taking down outdated nautical or floral paper.  It’s a hassle buyers try and avoid and it turns them off immediately. 
  4. Replace Light Fixtures:  In the entryway, kitchen & bathrooms, replacing overhead light fixtures provides a lot of pop for a little money.  Brass fixtures are out, dark metals and brushed nickel is in.  Enough said!
  5. Paint to your heart’s content:  Finish the walls with neutral paint.  In my experience, buyers gravitate more to warm colors rather than the standard: painters white.  A warm yellow or light coffee color is much more inviting and is so inexpensive & rewarding if you can do it yourself.    
Home improvements aren’t purely investment decisions:  you shouldn’t redo a kitchen or bathroom in hopes of making a profit.  But if you want to upgrade your quality of home life and can afford its money well spent.
Regardless which path you choose, call or email me for a consultation.  I will help you evaluate your home’s current market value and you can make an educated decision if remodeling or moving makes sense for you. 
For this and other helpful real estate information, please visit my website at

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